Introduction: Staryu Kusudama

About: In which I turn the thoughts from my head into objects in my hands

One day a few years back, when I was just surfing in water on my Swampert in Pokemon Ruby, I encountered a wild pokemon. Annoyed, I waited for the pokemon to be revealed, but the irritation in my face was instantly replaced with excitement as a shiny Staryu met my amazed eyes!

My shiny Staryu (named Barracuda because it sounded nice, I was about 12, "Starfish" was the lamest name ever, and well, note the irony of the difference in physical appearance...) was my first and only shiny pokemon so Staryus have saved a special place in my heart since that day. Thus, when I saw this pin on, I knew that I HAD to try it out someday.

Figuring out how the kusudama pieces went together was CHALLENGING. ARDUOUS. CONFUSING. HUFF. I couldn't find instructions anywhere (despite searching high and low all over the internet), yet I suppose the puzzle of figuring out what to do was quite an interesting challenge. I was really cautious about cutting apart the units because my origami paper supply is running low (sob-choke-gasp), so I elated when I figured out that it was the right choice. *phew*

Anyhow, I've finished my version (not sure if mine was the same way that the original was made -- especially because there is a regular Staryu side AND a shiny Staryu side) and am content (not to mention proud!) with the result. ^^

See below for a VIDEO!

Step 1: Materials

    • glue
    • string for hanging, if you like
    • bead (also for hanging)
    • scissors

    For the regular Staryu, you'll need:

    • 3" by 3" squares of origami paper
      • 5 x light blue
      • 10 x white
      • 5 x orange
      • 5 x yellow
      • 5 x red

    For the Shiny Staryu, you'll need:

    • 3" by 3" squares of origami paper
      • 5 x dark blue (in place of the light blue used previously)
      • 10 x white (used like the previous white units)
      • 5 x gray (for the five points of the Staryu) (in place of the orange used previously)
      • 5 x golden yellow (for the circle surrounding the stone) (in place of the regular yellow used previously)
      • 5 x light blue (for the central stone) (in place of the red used previously)

    For the rest of the kusudama, you'll need:

    • 3" by 3" squares of origami paper
      • 3 x light blue
      • 6 x white
      • 2 x dark blue

    Step 2: Folding Sonobe Units

    To fold the units,

    1. Fold the square in half. Then unfold that.
    2. Fold both edges to the center.
    3. Open the top flap and fold the bottom left corner edge up to the first fold from the top.
    4. Undo that fold and fold the top flap back down.
    5. Open the bottom flap and fold the top right corner edge down to the first fold from the bottom.
    6. Fold the bottom flap back up.
    7. Take the bottom left corner and tuck it into the top rectangle flap.
    8. Fold the top left and bottom edges of paper under to form a parallelogram.
    9. Tuck those previous folds between the sandwich of layers of the parallelogram (see ninth picture).
    10. Turn the whole thing over and fold the top and bottom edges to the adjacent corners to form a square.

    And that's one unit! I suggest you fold all your squares of paper before begin.

    Step 3: Editing Orange Units

    You'll need to cleverly fold (and cut) parts of the units so that some parts show and other parts don't. To do that, fold a bit of the bottom right corner up so that you see a trapezoid. Then ... follow the pictures (it's easier that way).

    By the way, pretend that this unit is orange, not yellow. ^^;

    Step 4: Editing Blue Units

    Grab your blue units (and one white unit). These units' flaps are supposed to go into the orange unit's pockets, but the flap is now too long because you cut the orange pockets smaller.

    Follow the images' notes above to see how to crop the blue units accordingly. Do NOT use glue for these steps.

    Step 5: Editing White Units

    Follow the images' notes above for editing white units. Again, do NOT apply glue.

    Step 6: Beginning Layer 1

    Now grab your glue stick; it's going to see a lot more action now.

    Connect orange, blue, and white units (one of each) like in the previous step, this time using glue for added security, to form a group that I'll call group A. Then grab one blue and one orange unit and slip the blue one's flap into the orange one's pocket. Apply glue on the entire backside of the orange unit and glue that whole thing on top of half of the white unit from group A.

    After that, grab a white unit. Insert the orange unit's flap into the white one's pocket and then the white one's flap into the blue one's pocket (using glue).

    Step 7: Completing Layer 1

    Continue connecting blue and orange units, gluing them on top of half the white unit, and adding a white unit to the blue and orange group. Repeat until you've used up all of your blue and orange pieces.

    To connect both sides of the layer, undo the first orange flap; the blue piece under it should come off too. Then apply glue on the backside of the orange unit before placing it on top of half the last white unit. Slip that whole thing into the correct white unit's pocket, and voilà.

    Layer one complete. Advance to layer two?

    Step 8: Editing Yellow Units

    First, you'll have to edit your yellow pieces. The process is the same as for the orange units (see step 3).

    This time, for determining how far down you'll have to fold the unit, place the yellow unit inside one of the points on layer one and fold the corner of the yellow unit (you'll see the edge jutting out) so that it's shorter but STILL VISIBLE You see, the yellow part must be visible through the hole of the first layer -- see the picture above for what I mean.

    I'm sorry for not having any pictures of this, but it should be comprehensible without images.. I hope! Feel free to comment for any confusion!

    Step 9: Editing White Units

    Insert the flap of a yellow unit into the pocket of a red unit.Then insert the red unit's flap into a white unit's pocket. Arrange the white unit's flap underneath the yellow unit so that you see the sharp corner of the white flap jutting out. Cut the flap so that nothing sticks out from under the yellow unit, and repeat this with the other white units.

    Step 10: Beginning Layer 2

    Insert the flap of a yellow unit into the pocket of a red unit.Then insert the red unit's flap into a white unit's pocket and the white unit's edited flap into the yellow unit's pocket -- all of this using GLUE for security. I'll call this group B.

    Then attach one yellow and one red unit together like in the first part and then apply glue to the entire backside of the yellow unit. Place this part on top of half the red unit from group B. Grab a white unit and insert the red unit's flap into the white unit's pocket and the white unit's flap into the yellow unit's pocket.

    Step 11: Completing Layer 2

    Rinse and repeat until all of your units are gone.

    To connect both sides of layer 2, take the first yellow flap out of it's corresponding red unit's pocket. Apply glue on the backside of the yellow unit and place it on top of half of the last red unit. Then take the flap and insert it into the correct red unit's pocket (the one that the yellow flap once was).

    Step 12: Connecting Layers

    Grab layers one and two. Apply glue to the top of layer two before inserting it into the points of layer one. Firmly press both layers together before admiring your work.

    HOLY MOLY -- YOU'RE FINALLY DONE WITH ONE STARYU! Now do you see what I meant when I said that figuring out all the steps was extremely tough and confusing? ;)

    Step 13: Pitfalls, Things I Learned From Experiments: Part 1

    So I had no idea that I should cut the orange and yellow units and thought that I'd need a lot of layers: one layer of yellow above the red, then another layer of the blue and orange and white (which at that point I had no idea how to tackle... I mean, how did the white parts jut out from the orange star so prettily? How was the orange star even formed?) The above pictures are part of that yellow-layer-on-top-of-the-red-layer-attempt.

    Step 14: Pitfalls, Things I Learned From Experiments: Part 2

    Another thing: I created layer 2 BEFORE layer 1. This was a mistake because then I realized that my yellow layer wouldn't show underneath the white layer. They showed under the orange layer, but I didn't check with the white layer. Thus, when I was FINALLY connecting the two layers together, my excitement was cut short when the yellow wasn't visible.

    I remedied this by undoing all the yellow units (thankful for my weak glue stick now) and refolding them, this time checking for their visibility under the white parts.


    If you're not too exhausted yet, let's move onto part 2: Shiny Staryu, shall we?

    Step 15: Shiny Staryu

    Repeat the previous steps to form and connect both layers of a Staryu with the Shiny Staryu color scheme (gray with central blue stone in a golden circle). Here's a list of the colored paper that you'll need:

    • 5 x dark blue (in place of the light blue used previously)
    • 10 x white (used like the previous white units)
    • 5 x gray (for the five points of the Staryu) (in place of the orange used previously)
    • 5 x golden yellow (for the circle surrounding the stone) (in place of the regular yellow used previously)
    • 5 x light blue (for the central stone) (in place of the red used previously)

    Step 16: Connecting the Two Halves

    In the next and final part of finishing this Staryu kusudama, you'll need to fold some more units:

    • 3 x light blue
    • 2 x dark blue
    • 6 x white

    Step 17: Hiding Extra Flaps

    If you turn over your Staryus, you'll notice that there are white flaps underneath the blue ones. You don't want these to get in the way so fold them down so that the aren't so close to the blue flaps.

    Step 18: Shiny Staryu Additions

    You'll need to add some units to the shiny Staryu half first. I suggest you use weak glue for this part, as you may need to undo some of your work here later (you shall see...*wink*). Don't worry; you won't have to undo ALL of it.

    Or will you? Read on to find out...

    See the pictures for step-by-step info of what you should do with two dark blue units and two white units.

    Step 19: Regular Staryu Additions

    Now the regular Staryu needs some additional units too, and again, use weak glue.

    See above for in-depth information. You'll need three light blue units and three white units.

    Step 20: Positioning the Two Halves

    If you turn the two halves over, you'll see that the regular Staryu half has THREE protruding white flaps visible while the shiny Staryu half has only TWO protruding visible white flaps. You want to position the two halves facing each other, but in such a way that the white flaps do NOT touch each other (they can be near each other, but don't let them be face-to-face).

    Step 21: Bead for Hanging

    ALL RIGHT -- PAUSE THE ORIGAMI FOR A SEC OR TWO. OR MAYBE ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SECONDS. You'll need to make the hanging mechanism using your bead and string before continuing.

    Cut out about a foot of string and fold it in half. Insert the cut ends into the bead and then insert the ends into the loop that's at the middle of the string where you folded it. Pull the string tight on the bead, and add a bit of glue to seal that lark's head knot.

    Okay -- back to the origami...

    Step 22: Connecting and Adding Units

    To finish this up, you need to firmly attach the two sides and add some units to some parts.

    Go to where you see three units lining up nicely to form a point (that has not yet been formed, hence the necessity of your attention!). This place for you may not be the same as the one I show in the picture (because it's hard to explain the positioning part and your position may be different), so just do what your kusudama requires. The pictures that I include are for you to see what to do if you see this on your kusudama.

    So erm, yea -- see the above pictures for more detailed information.

    Step 23: Inserting Beaded Hanging Mechanism

    To hang the kusudama (if you want.. I did), take your the bead on the string that you created previously and insert the bead into the kusudama by just inserting it into a gap and pulling the string so that the bead sits nicely in a point that the string pokes out of.

    Step 24: Completing Points

    Again, continue on your rampage of completing points that haven't been completed yet.

    See pictures for more information on that subject.

    Step 25: Inserting a Unit to Complete Points

    If you see gaps like this, you'll need to take an outside unit to complete points.

    See above for pictures on that topic.

    Step 26: Finishing

    Now that your kusudama is closed, all that's left is to tie a small loop to the end of your string.

    And your Staryu kusudama is complete (not just a measly point, this time)!

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